The Montaño Store was built before 1868 and became State property in 1966. The building was operated as a store and boarding house, for at least 30 years after the Civil War by Jose Montaño and his wife, Josefa.
The Montaño’s were supporters of the McSween faction, and some of those forces occupied the house during the Five Day Battle. Governor Lew Wallace stayed here several nights while he was trying to arrange his secret meeting with Billy the Kid.
It was also from this building that Fernando Herrera is said to have fired the fateful 900-yard shot that killed Charlie Crawford, sitting up in the hills behind the store.
The 1,400 sq. ft. building is currently used as an exhibit of the Hispanic settlement of Lincoln and the construction of adobe buildings. It is on the National Historic Register and State Register of Cultural Properties.
There are major structural problems with the Montaño Store. The most significant problem is that the concrete stucco applied to the building in 1990 wicks water into the structure’s adobe bricks, which destroys the integrity of the bricks. The southeast corner of the building needs stabilization as a result.
Further, water drains off the highway and onto the property. The drainage problem need to be addressed so water no longer pools around the foundation and is wicked into the adobe bricks. Repairs are also needed to the exterior stucco, wood damage, gutters and the roof.